April 20, 2015

Moral Courage #2: Developing a Courageous Heart

Want to be a part of this growing progressive faith community, that is making a positive impact, in Phoenix? Come visit us on a Sunday morning, follow us online, and/or make a donation.

Recorded on April 19, 2015 @ 10:00 am guest speaker Dale Fredrickson.

Dale lives in Denver, CO and is currently the Associate Pastor at St. Andrew United Methodist Church and pastor of The Wildflower Gathering, an innovative worship gathering created around art and story. Dale’s calling is to use words in ways that invite people into the awe-inspiring adventure of discipleship. Words chosen carefully and delivered effectively, words painting pictures of hope and of the wonders of a world wowed with love—God’s love. Words that encourage, edify, educate, and empower people to become all that God has created them to be. Explore Dale’s work and original poetry at dalefredrickson.com.

In keeping with our series on moral courage, Adam Smith blessed City Square with his hauntingly beautiful tenor voice and acoustic guitar as he sang about courage in finding himself. For more information about his music, visit adamsmithmusicart.com. His latest album, So Simple Now, is an all-acoustic autobiographical exploration of his life and is certainly worth checking out.

April 13, 2015

City Square: Genuine people leading by example

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Church member Theresa Thomas (left) poses with author Kara Kahnke.


By: Kara Kahnke

Theresa Thomas has been part of City Square from the beginning. Her friend Allison invited her to a book study group that Pastor Brian had started. Eventually, the small book club helped Pastor Brian and Pastor Rob realize that there was a greater need in Phoenix. What began as a book club grew into City Square Church.

Theresa said she couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. She grew up Chaldean or Iraqian Catholic, which is similar to Roman Catholicism. Although allied with the Roman Catholic pope, they have a different leader. Theresa noted that Catholicism was heavily ingrained in her culture growing up.

Theresa said she never quite felt at home in a Catholic church. In college, she began attending a non-denominational church, which helped her feel like she was better able to build an individual relationship with God. City Square has helped her continue this pattern. “You build your relationship with God, and you’re going to do that with people who are also building a relationship with God,” she said.

In fact, the people are what Theresa enjoys most about City Square. “Everyone here is just so genuine,” she said. “They are genuinely excited to see me inside or outside of church. They’re not one thing on paper and a different thing in person.”

Theresa said she loves that City Square sometimes pushes her out of her comfort zone. She has a big personality that helped Brian and Rob recognize her natural leadership qualities. She currently serves as the Chair of the Leadership Committee, which means she helps by directing meetings and bringing issues to a vote.

Theresa wants other people to know that City Square is a church that leads by example. “It’s a church that’s giving Christianity a good name again,” she said, noting that the church always follows through on its mission in a positive way. She is happy and proud to share City Square with others.  Most importantly, Theresa knows that she will always feel accepted at City Square. “The church recognizes that whoever I am is enough.”

Want to be a part of this growing progressive faith community, that is making a positive impact, in Phoenix? Come visit us on a Sunday morning, follow us online, and/or make a donation.

March 25, 2015

Beyond Belief #5: The Spiritual Practice of Submission

Beyond Belief #5: The Spiritual Practice of Submission from City Square Church on Vimeo.

Recorded on March 15th @ 10:00 am – 11:15 am:

Pastor Brian Kemp-Schlemmer on “The Spiritual Practice of Submission”

Whether you’ve never had it, you’ve lost it, or you live with it every day, belief can be a fickle thing. Join us through the season of Lent (2/18-3/29) as we explore the practices that move us forward on our journey of faith when we’re not sure what we believe.

March 29th – Rob Rynders

March 10, 2015

Beyond Belief #3: A Lenten Series of Presence & Practice

Beyond Belief #3: A Lenten Series of Presence & Practice from City Square Church on Vimeo.

Recording on March 8th @ 10:00 am – 11:15 am: Brian Kemp-Schlemmer

Whether you’ve never had it, you’ve lost it, or you live with it every day, belief can be a fickle thing. Join us through the season of Lent (2/18-3/29) as we explore the practices that move us forward on our journey of faith when we’re not sure what we believe.

March 15th – Anthony Phillips, “Quiet and Contemplation”
March 22nd – Brian Kemp-Schlemmer
March 29th – Rob Rynders

We are also offering an optional small group opportunity as a companion to this Sunday morning series. Click here for more information about the “Spiritual Practices Workshop,” which will be meeting weekly beginning February 23.

Support the work of City Square Church

March 9, 2015

Supportive Community, Charitable Outreach Help Make City Square Home

Janet Seely (back) poses for a photo with Kara Khanke (front).

Janet Seely (back) poses for a photo with Kara Kahnke (front).

Guest Post by: Kara Kahnke

Janet Seely recalled growing up in a fundamentalist background that focused on specific rules and tenants of belief in God. She said that this background taught her that asking questions about God demonstrated a lack of faith. Her college experience began to change her perspective. College encouraged her to ask questions and explore different ways of understanding her faith. She said that City Square fit in well with this new way of understanding.

Janet came to City Square shortly after moving to Phoenix. “The first time I came, I knew this was the place for me,” she said. “At City Square, it’s more about what you do than what you believe. It’s about how you live out your faith.” Above all, Janet noted that City Square is about accepting everyone. She said this level of acceptance is much more important than a check list of beliefs.

Despite asking questions at times, Janet noted that her Christian faith has always been important to her. She said the strong community at City Square helps enrich her understanding of God. “I couldn’t stop being a Christian if I wanted to, and I don’t think you can do that alone.” She said this shared sense of support, accountability, and motivation toward spiritual practice, are all part of what inspires her to call City Square her church home.

Janet said one of the most positive aspects of City Square is the way the community challenges her to take everything a step further. When she mentioned to Rev. Rob Rynders that she enjoyed reading “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road,” Rob encouraged her to start a study group about the book. Janet continues to participate in various City Square groups including the Creative Writing Group, Spiritual Formation Group, the Leadership Committee and the Mission Committee, which chooses City Square’s charitable partners.

Janet stated that City Square’s charitable outreach is another aspect that attracted her to the church. City Square tithes 10 percent of all donated funds back to community partners it believes are doing positive work. “It allows us to be good stewards,” she said. “By contributing to these organizations, City Square makes a much stronger impact than what we could ever do as a church alone.”
To people who are thinking about attending City Square for the first time, Janet encouraged them to give it a try, noting that City Square is better when experienced than when explained. “You can start as big or small as you want,” she said. “You’ll find a place to fit in here.”

December 8, 2014

City Square Church is Moving (In January 2015)

Ucc Space

After a year of Sunday morning worship at The Bioscience High School, in downtown Phoenix, City Square is moving to a new space in the historic Coronado Neighborhood on January 4, 2015. We will remain at Bioscience for the remainder of 2014, including for our Christmas Eve service.  Beginning in January we will be worshipping regularly at the headquarters of The Southwest Conference of The United Church of Christ located at 917 E Sheridan, Phoenix, 85006, 1.7 miles northeast of Bioscience High School. The UCC made us a generous offer to use the space at a very low cost and our leadership team decided this was the right move for us. The new location will allow us to be in a new neighborhood and will make for an easier setup/breakdown process each week. There is a small parking area and ample street parking. Each Sunday there will also be ample signage so folks will easily know where to go. We’re thankful for the time we had a Bioscience, especially the extremely friendly maintenance staff who worked to make it a great space to be in every Sunday. We’re excited about this new opportunity and hope you will join us in helping us tell other about the move. We’ll see you in January, Coronado!

December 1, 2014

Advent Art Project: Hope

This Advent, City Square Church will be featuring a piece of locally made art, each week in worship, representing that particular week’s Advent theme.

This first piece is “Hope” and was created by Ramon Aguirre.

Csq Advent Final from PJ Szabo on Vimeo.